Iakov Benveniste was born on March 30, 1925 in Thessaloniki. He lived with his parents Iosif and Riketa on 7 Kassandrou Street. During the 1941 – 1942 year he attended the Public Commercial Shcool (Dimosia Emporiki Sxoli). We know from the schools advice that during the WW2, 53 Jewish students attended the school, but only six survived Iakov was one of them.
He was deported with his family from Thessaloniki to Auschwitz on April 5 1943. He arrived five days later. Upon arrival, 537 men and 246 women were considered capable of work. Iakov had identification number 114168 tattooed on his arm.
He was later deported to Warsaw, Dachau and Mühldorf – Waldlager. He was liberated in April 1945 and lived for a while in the Feldaging Displaced Persons camp. Two years and five months after his deportation from Thessaloniki, he returned to the city as the sole survivor of his family. At his reregistration to the Jewish community of Thessaloniki, he declared he was a student of the Dimosia Emporiki Sxoli. He soon left the city and remained until the end of his life in Israel.